Night by Elie Wiesel Essay

Night by Elie Wiesel Essay

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Night by Elie Wiesel


Nobody wants to read such a morbid book as Night. There isn’t anybody (other than the Nazis and Neo-Nazis) who enjoys reading about things like the tortures, the starvation, and the beatings that people went through in the concentration camps. Night is a horrible tale of murder and of man’s inhumanity towards man. We must, however, read these kinds of books regardless. It is an indefinitely depressing subject, but because of its truthfulness and genuine historic value, it is a story that we must learn, simply because it is important never to forget. As Robert McAfee Brown states in the preface of the memoir “the world has had to hear a story it would have preferred not to hear- the story of how a cultured people turned to genocide, and how the rest of the world, also composed of cultured people, remained silent in the face of genocide.” Elie Wiesel has paid much attention to an inner desire and need to serve humanity by illuminating the hate-darkened past.
     
Night is a horrifying account of a Nazi death camp that turns Elie Wiesel from a young Jewish boy into a distressed and grief-stricken witness to the death of his family, the death of his friends, even the death of his own innocence and his faith in G-d. He saw his family, friends and fellow Jews first severely degraded and then sadistically murdered. He enters the camp a child and leaves a man. At the book’s end, Elie bears little resemblance to the teenage boy who left Sighet almost a year earlier.

Night is a memoir exquisitely written. Wiesel’s eloquence makes his descriptions seem terrifyingly real and repulsive. It is a book about what the Holocaust did, not just to the Jews, but to humanity. People all over the world found themselves affected by this atrocious act. Even today, there are a number of survivors who are tormented by their experience every day of their lives.

The Wiesel’s have, throughout the novel, several opportunities to escape Sighet as well as the camp itself, but they are stubborn in their beliefs and refuse to listen to the warnings. Moshe the Beadle, Elie’s mentor at the beginning of the novel, while Elie is still a deeply religious young man, manages to escape the Gestapo in Poland. He returns to Sighet to deliver his message and to try to warn people of the pending situation. The villagers, however, believe Moshe has lost his mind, find...


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...e” was Elie’s body, but it had not only lost so many pounds to make him look like a walking skeleton, but he had been robbed of its soul as well. This is similar to the loss suffered by people all over the world. Although several survivors are still alive physically, their mind and spirit have long been dead, or at least a large part of it. Recovering his spirit, his personality, even his faith, is, when he is released, is the most difficult obstacle for Elie to overcome.

Night tells the story of innocent victims. It is the story of people who were destroyed simply because they were Jews. These people had done nothing and yet were tortured, degraded and liquidated for no other reason other than their faith in the Jewish religion and their semitic “racial inferiority”. Wiesel is a witness to all the horrible things, and by reading his memoir we too, become witnesses. He is a spokesperson for all those who cannot bear to speak and to pass the message on to us, the next generation. We are the ones who are obliged to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive. We must take advantage of his eloquence and its importance, which is never to forget, in order never to let this happen again.

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